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COVID-19 Vaccination: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Yale Medicine offering the COVID-19 vaccine yet?

Yes, Yale Medicine began to provide vaccination for COVID-19 in December 2020 to health care providers who have direct patient contact. Per state regulations, at present, the vaccine is only available to residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities and health care workers, including physicians, nurses and staff who directly interact with patients. In partnership with Yale University, Yale New Haven Health System and Yale Health, we began to offer vaccinations to Yale Medicine health care providers.

The vaccination prioritization schedule is based on recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with specifics determined by each state. (See links for both at the bottom of the page.) Here in Connecticut, we are in the process of vaccinating those in phase 1a, which includes the following categories:

  • Health care workers who have direct patient contact
  • Residents of skilled nursing homes
  • First responders at risk for COVID-19 exposure

When phase 1a is complete, we expect to move forward with the next phase. Though the State has not yet finalized the categories, it is expected that those listed below will be prioritized:

  • Critical workforce
  • Other congregate settings
  • Adults over 65
  • High risk individuals under 65

The decision to open up vaccination to the general public will depend on many factors, including supply, but will ultimately be made by the state of Connecticut; Yale Medicine will offer vaccinations to our patients and the public in line with state guidelines.

When can I expect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

At this point, our best guess is that vaccinations may become available to non-healthcare workers in late February or early March. Exactly who in the general public will qualify for these initial doses has not been decided, but groups that are at higher risk for infection, or are more vulnerable to the virus, are likely to get priority. That would include older adults, essential workers, and/or those who have underlying chronic medical conditions.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are available from YM/YNHHS?

We are currently receiving supplies of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two shots given several weeks apart. The differences between the two are slight and don’t affect how they work. Both vaccines utilize the same technology, are equally effective, and share the same risk/side effect profile. (The Pfizer doses are given three weeks apart and the vaccine must be stored in ultra-cold freezers; the Moderna vaccine series requires four weeks between shots and does not require special freezers.)